My Top 5 Pieces of Advice for Uni Students
For a long time, I've had this inner conflict going on between me and university. On the one hand, I am extremely privileged to even have the opportunity to go to university. Countless people would die to go and never have the chance. On the other though, I was lucky enough and I ended up hating it. Like, really hating it. I had a really hard time with my mental health all throughout university and found it hard to keep up with the workload. I also didn't love the environment. Everyone in my major was super competitive and professors were often ruthless when it came to deadlines and grading. There was very little niceness surrounding me in my experience. However, I convinced myself to just keep pushing because at least I was given the opportunity, right?
I don't know. I really don't.
What I do know is that for many people lucky enough to go, university can be a fantastic opportunity for growth and learning. It can take you places you otherwise wouldn't be able to go. For those people- and for people like me struggling- I wanted to share what I learned in uni and what helped me.
Here are my five top pieces of advice for university students:
1. Don't declare your major immediately
If you're not required to declare a major immediately, don't. Take time to explore your options for a while. You never know what you might come across in your first year or two of school. Often times, people change their majors once or twice. It's natural and normal. So even if you wait to change your major and you still want to change it, you can. If you're spending precious amounts of your time and money at this institution, it had better be for something you enjoy.
2. Make friends with your professors
Try to sit close-ish to the front of the class. Ask questions. Make comments. Introduce yourself! Make sure your prof knows you exist. The more you do this, the better. Go to their office hours- this I cannot stress enough. I have found that often times profs will give you better grades if you go to their office and ask them to work with you.
3. Do things on the side
Get involved with extracurriculars. I'm not saying do everything possible because this will most likely effect your grades and social life, but do things on the side. If you're interested in things different than your major, this is the way to explore them. It also allows you to meet people you wouldn't otherwise meet. And who knows, maybe this could lead to events or connections you otherwise wouldn't have been able to make. Employers and internships also often look for students with exemplary and well-rounded resumes.
4. Don't be afraid to double major
It might take some extra time and work, but if you really want to double-major, go for it! You can always declare a minor too. Make use of your school advisor and see how they can help you. Majoring in two things, though it is a big task, can help a lot of people in expanding their prospective career options post-grad. Just make sure it's what you really want- like I said, it can be a lot of work.
5. It's not a be-all end-all situation!
University is not the roadmap to the rest of your life. It's not. You might not get a job that's not directly related to your field of study post-grad and that is more than okay. Maybe your major turned out to not even be something you really want to pursue. That's okay too! Having a degree in itself can be a great gateway to jobs you wouldn't have otherwise been able to get. And if you just can't handle it like me and you're thinking there must be another way, you're right too. There is no one way to live, despite what your well-meaning family might tell you. Release that stress and don't take life too seriously. It will all work out!
I hope these helped you at least a little in figuring out ways to make the most of your experience. If you want me to expand on my experience or answer any of your questions, p;ease leave a comment down below!
Until next time,